2012 has been another year of exciting challenges, joys big and small, and growth for me and my newly three-year-old business, JGB Interiors. I don’t exaggerate to say that I’ve enjoyed virtually every minute of it.
I’ve had close to thirty new clients this year, with projects ranging from one-time color consultations to full-scale, many-months-long renovations. I’ve continued to see clients mainly in the DC area, with a large concentration of them in Chevy Chase and Arlington, but some have been as far away as New Jersey. Through my clients I met a dozen babies this year, eleven new homes, and a lot of dogs (none of whom bothered me despite all of you being very gracious about trying to keep them in their rooms/outside/off my legs). I was overjoyed to see three previous clients come back for another go-round, and I still work from time to time with my first ever client, which is both comfortable and humbling.
I continue to use – almost exclusively – Benjamin Moore paint.
I met this dog (which was fun) and specified these chairs (which I’ve wanted to do for a long time). I did not, however, take the photo.
My services expanded early in the year to include more purchasing of goods, and though the move has been a good one for me, it quickly changed a lot of things about the ways that I do record keeping, the time I need to allow for administrative tasks, and the types of projects that I can and will take on. I’ve developed some strong and valuable relationships with vendors, and I found a few new homes-away-from-home in the form of showrooms.
My son began full-day-every-day preschool in August. What a game changer that has been! As I booked my calendar for new jobs in the fall, I overlooked how the administrative tasks tend to mount up quickly when you add just a few more clients to your roster. October and November were, at times, overwhelming, but I came out on the other side with some great work, new lessons learned, and the ability to say “No, I can’t see you now but I will be happy to schedule you in two months.” It’s been a tough experience to have to wrestle with the direction in which I want to lead JGB Interiors in terms of the number of and scope of projects I am willing to take on, and it’s a conversation I am continuing to have with myself and I book for 2013.
My blog, Paint It What I Tell You, has been viewed a total of more than 1,000,000 times (not to be confused with unique visitors…we’re talking page views here), which is kind of unfathomable for me, especially since I pretty much ceased blogging on any kind of regular basis back in September. I hope to get back to some type of regular blogging schedule in 2013, but I make no promises. Another sign that I’ve reached the technological big-time is that I just happened to notice – literally minutes ago – that my Twitter account, which I have neglected far more than this blog, has been recently hacked. So pay no mind to the side bar that urges you to “Check out theze diet pills! Lose 30 pounds!” That’s just a robot talking…and I don’t urge you to do any such thing.
I participated in the Washington Post’s “House Calls” column twice this year, an honor that I feel doubly happy to enjoy! Relatedly, I rapidly learned to develop a tough internet-comment skin. I continued to be featured fairly regularly in the Washington Times’ Home section. Write-ups and publicity are trends I hope to continue into this coming year.
I’m still teaching Continuing Education classes at the Corcoran College of Art + Design, and I even had the fun experience of having a former client join one of my courses this past fall. I am slated to teach a full year in the interior design program this year, and I look forward to all of the challenges and rewards that that brings.
I enter this new year thankful for all of the little joys that my job provides, and I marvel at how after three years I have yet to walk away from a job not liking a client. I feel extremely fortunate to have carved out a space for myself in the design community where I can do what I love and spend tremendous amounts of time with my family. I am grateful for my clients, many of whom have little children as well, who understand when I have to reschedule a meeting with little notice because my son has a fever or pink eye or gave me one of the above. I am thrilled at the happy coincidence that the majority of the workers at my clients’ job sites keep similar hours to my son’s school day. I am overjoyed that three years into this, I feel like I’m no longer testing the waters, but navigating them with a good deal of confidence and optimism.
I hope that 2013 brings you health and happiness, and that your home is a place you want to be, whether I had a hand in making it that way or not.